A Battambang bridge project isn’t to blame for blocking a river and preventing water from reaching parched rice fields, an Asian Development Bank investigation concluded yesterday.
Bavel district farmers accused the bank-funded construction project of choking the river since construction began in December, leaving their recently planted crops to the whims of a drought.
Bridge developer Ung Sim Sia Construction last week installed four pipes to allow more water through a coffer dam, an improvement that brought relief to some but not all of the parched fields.
An ADB team went to the site last Wednesday and found the bridge wasn’t the issue.
“The underlying problem [with] the water situation in Bavel stems from inadequate water upstream and the existence of a deficient water control gate,” the ADB said in an email, adding the control gate would soon be repaired and the company’s pipes were working fine.
Provincial water resource officials could not be reached.